2021 Citizens of Courage Honored in Virtual Ceremony

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan honored seven brave local heroes this week at the San Diego County District Attorney’s 30th Annual Citizens of Courage Awards, held every year during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Because of the pandemic, the annual event was canceled in 2020 but was held virtually this year on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

“By honoring these brave individuals, we are highlighting the extraordinary courage of victims and good Samaritans, who were placed in dangerous and trying circumstances,” DA Stephan said. “We’re also shining a light on the thousands of crime victims our DA team has the honor of serving every year and the importance of supporting victims’ rights.”

This year’s Citizens of Courage recipients include:

  • Kevin Eslinger – Confronted by an aggressive surfer, he was savagely attacked in the waters off Sunset Cliffs and Suffered serious injuries.
  • Sherveen and Warshan Ali – Abducted by their father and taken to Iraq, this brother and sister outsmarted their abductor and protected one another.
  • Isabel Rosales – Stabbed in the neck by her husband while her children were in the next room, she survived and now supports victims of domestic violence.
  • LaMar Johnson – Put himself in danger when he came to the aid of his neighbor who was being attached, preventing a sexual assault and supporting the victim.
  • Alicia Villegas – Delivered justice for her murdered brother by helping police gather important evidence and testifying against the defendant, a career criminal.
  • Emma H. – Overheard a student making a threat to carry out a school shooting and alerted authorities, leading to ridicule and threats of intimidation against her.

The District Attorney’s Office is committed to assisting crime victims through its Victim Assistance Division. In 2020, Victim Advocates assisted 14,444 victims of crime. For more information on the services and resources the DA’s Office offers to help prevent crime, click here.